Friday, April 8, 2011

Phlebotomists' Adorable Children Unite!

First, the adorable:

I've been meaning to share this photo from HPAE Local 5103 American Red Cross campaign kickoff for a week now, and I think Friday's the perfect day for it.

Now, the background: HPAE Local 5103 organizes American Red Cross phlebotomists in the Philly area (they're the hardworking folks who collect and manage the American Red Cross blood drives). Blood saves lives, and phlebotomists make that possible. They're proud of that.

Unfortunately American Red Cross (whose former CFO, Scott Walker, has been making some very interesting headlines over in Wisconsin) hasn't shown the kind of respect for these workers that you might expect. Red Cross has a bit of a history of trying to slash pay and benefits while overworking its phlebotomists--a strategy that means HPAE's folks end up having to try and make the best out of long hours and understaffed blood drives. American Red Cross's cost cutting has resulted in numerous safety problems and fines--and every cent paid towards fines is a cent less going towards saving lives.

American Red Cross is also angling to eliminate the health benefits that they provide for Local 5103's families--including the children pictured above. Look at those faces. Do they deserve to be denied quality healthcare? Absolutely not!

Interested in getting involved in the campaign? Interfaith Worker Justice has put together a neat guide of questions to ask the next time your organization holds a blood drive. It's written as a guide for faith congregations, but could be pretty helpful for secular organizations, as well.

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